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would practicing astrology fall under the category of witchcraft, in the sense of the passuk to kill a sorcerer here.

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    On the topic of your deleted question, see the discussion here (summarized here) as to whether the witches were stoned first.
    – shmosel
    Jun 5, 2023 at 19:19
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    @shmosel Thank you, i deleted it since i realized (thanks to you) that i completely misunderstood what the gemara said, and my question was a non-question. :)
    – The Targum
    Jun 5, 2023 at 19:24

3 Answers 3

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He only gets Malkos (Rambam Hilchos Avodah Zarah 11:9; Hilchos Sanhedrin 18:3)

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Whether it's included by name or not, it's the bottom line that counts. Jewish law says:

One should not consult astrologers, nor should one cast lots to determine the future. [Shulḥan Arukh, YD 179:1]

The Rambam put it rather clearly, as is his wont:

Astrology is a disease, not a science... It is a tree under whose shadow all sorts of superstitions thrive. ... Only fools and charlatans lend value to it. [Rambam, Responsa 2:25b]

The prophets scoffed at astrologers:

Let now the astrologers, the star gazers… stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble. The fire shall burn them. They shall not save themselves from the power of the flame… None of them shall save you. [Is. 47:13-14]

Sadly, none of the above prevailed among the masses.

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  • The Rama justifies 179:1 with תמים תהיה עם ה' אלקיך, which suggests it's not an issue of withcraft. And I don't see how the other quotes are relevant at all.
    – shmosel
    Jun 5, 2023 at 19:48
  • Also, a simple reading of Sotah 12b suggests there is some substance to astrology, even if it's mostly foolishness. Some read the same into Rambam's opinion.
    – shmosel
    Jun 5, 2023 at 19:51
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Rambam in Guide For The Perplexed comments that Astrology is very much connected with sorcery.

See HERE

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